விரால் மீன் குழம்பு – Murrel Fish Curry

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Recipe for Viral meen Kuzhambu – விரால் மீன் குழம்பு – Murrel Fish Curry. Recipe with step by step pictures.

விரால் மீன் குழம்பு – Murrel Fish Curry
Murrel fish curry has to be one of the favorite fish curries in Tamilnadu. This fresh water fish is the most sought after and is sold as quickly as it comes to the market. It is also the favorite fish of Dr. Kalignar Karunanidhi.

Viral Meen – Snakehead / Murrel Fish. This fresh water fish has been mentioned in history in Tamil sangam literature.
பதினெண் கீழ்க் கணக்கு
பாடல்: பழமொழி நானூறு
கவிஞர்: முன்றுரை அரையனார்

சிறியபொருள் கொடுத்துச் செய்த வினையால்,
பெரியபொருள் கருதுவாரே
விரி பூ
விராஅம் புனல் ஊர, வேண்டு அயிரை இட்டு,
வராஅஅல் வாங்குபவர்.

விரிந்த பூக்குள் வலவாக விரவிக் கிடக்கும் புனல் வளம் மிக்க ஊரின் வேந்தனே! சிறிய அளவில் முதலீடு செய்து செயல்படும் திறத்தால் பெரும் பொருளை ஈட்டத் திட்டமிடுபவர்.
சிறிய அயிரை மீனைத் தூண்டிலில் இட்டுப் பெரிய வரால் மீனைப் பிடிப்பவர் போன்றவர்.

In short, it means the person who sacrifices Ayirai Meen – bait (tiny fresh water spiny loaches) to catch the big viraal (Murrel) fishes. The small investment / sacrifices we do today will make it big in the long run / The small charity we do today will come back to us and do us good in a really big way later on. Give more to get more 🙂

Here is how to do Viral meen Kuzhambu – விரால் மீன் குழம்பு – Murrel Fish Curry
First we will make a masala paste for the fish curry. This is what you will need.

Indian Sesame oil (gingely oil) is what is used for making tamil style fish curries. The rich aroma of the oil perfectly pairs with the spicy curry. Heat oil in a pan and add in the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves, garlic, chopped green chillies and chopped small onions (Indian shallots). Add in the salt so the onions cook fast.
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Saute the mixture for 2-3 minutes till the onions are soft. Add in the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes.
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Add in the fresh shredded coconut and switch off the flame. Let the mixture cool.
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Once its cool, grind in a mixie to a smooth paste. Add half a cup of water while grinding. Set aside.
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Usually, fish curries taste great when made in a clay pot. Most of the households in Tamilnadu have a meen chatti (clay fish pot exclusively for making fish curries). If you do not have a clay pot, a heavy pan will suffice. Heat oil in a pan and add in the curry leaves, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Do not add a lot of fenugreek seeds. The curry will become very bitter. Add in the chopped shallots and green chillies. Saute for 3-4 minutes till its soft.
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Once the onions are soft, add in the tamarind extract, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, rock salt and kuzhambu milagai thool. “Kuzhambu milagai thool” is a curry powder used in Tamil households and can be sourced from a south Indian grocery store. If you dont have “kuzhambu milagai thool”, use store bought curry powder. Let the curry simmer for five minutes.

Note: For tamarind extract, soak the tamarind in a cup of water for 20 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind to extract the juice. Discard the pith and the seeds.
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Keeping it real.
When my curry was simmering, my old old clay pot cracked big. There was small crack all this time and today it gave off. So I shifted my curry to a different pan. I am so sad that I need to part with my favorite meen chatti.
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Add in the ground masala paste to the pan.
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Wash the mixie with a cup of water and add to the pan. Add another cup of water and the raw mango pieces. The raw mango and the tamarind gives a nice sourness to the curry.
Note: If you do not have raw mango, add in a little more of the tamarind extract. A little will do. Do not add too much.
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In the mean time, clean and wash the fish.
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Let the curry simmer on a medium flame for 12-14 minutes. Stir once in a while to avoid scorching at the bottom. After the curry has simmered, add in the fish pieces.
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After adding the fish pieces, do not stir or disturb while cooking as the pieces will break. Let the curry simmer for 6-7 minutes so the fish cooks. Do not cover. Let it simmer in an open pan.
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Switch off the flame and add in a tablespoon of sesame oil and cover the pan. Let it rest for atleast half an hour before you serve.
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Fantastic Viral meen Kuzhambu – விரால் மீன் குழம்பு – Murrel Fish Curry is ready. You can serve it for breakfast with idli or for lunch with hot hot parboiled ponni rice.
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viral-meen-kuzhambu-recipe

விரால் மீன் குழம்பு – Murrel Fish Curry

Recipe for Viral meen Kuzhambu – விரால் மீன் குழம்பு – Murrel Fish Curry. Recipe with step by step pictures.

  • Total Time: 45 minute
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the masala paste
2 teaspoon Indian sesame oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
5 cloves garlic
4 green chillies, chopped
10 Indian shallots (small onions)
2 tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the fish curry

2 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon Indian sesame oil

2 sprig curry leaves

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
10 Indian shallots (small onions)
2 green chillies
1 small lime size tamarind
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder
1 tablespoon Kuzhambu milagai thool / curry powder (use more for a really spicy curry)
1 teaspoon rock salt
1/2 of a raw mango, chopped

500 gms viral meen – murrel fish steaks with bones

Instructions

Heat oil in a pan and add in the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves, garlic, chopped green chillies and chopped small onions (Indian shallots). Add in the salt so the onions cook fast. Saute the mixture for 2-3 minutes till the onions are soft. Add in the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Add in the fresh shredded coconut and switch off the flame. Let the mixture cool.

Once its cool, grind in a mixie to a smooth paste. Add half a cup of water while grinding. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add in the curry leaves, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Do not add a lot of fenugreek seeds. The curry will become very bitter. Add in the chopped shallots, garlic and green chillies. Saute for 3-4 minutes till its soft.

Soak tamarind in a cup of water for 20 minutes. Extract pulp. Discard the pith and seeds

Once the onions are soft, add in the tamarind extract, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, rock salt and kuzhambu milagai thool. Let the curry simmer for five minutes. Add in the ground masala paste to the pan. Wash the mixie with a cup of water and add to the pan. Add another cup of water and the raw mango pieces. The raw mango and the tamarind gives a nice sourness to the curry.

Let the curry simmer on a medium flame for 12-14 minutes. Stir once in a while to avoid scorching at the bottom. After the curry has simmered, add in the fish pieces.

After adding the fish pieces, do not stir or disturb while cooking as the pieces will break. Let the curry simmer for 6-7 minutes so the fish cooks. Do not cover. Let it simmer in an open pan.

Switch off the flame and add in a tablespoon of sesame oil and cover the pan. Let it rest for atleast half an hour before you serve.

 

  • Author: Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 30m

12 thoughts on “விரால் மீன் குழம்பு – Murrel Fish Curry”

  1. Rajesh Khanna

    In the ingredients ,for masal paste, garlic is mentioned but in the preparation garlic isnt mentioned,
    In the ingredients fennugreek isnt mentioned but in preparation ,fenugreek is mentioned

    Hope the author does correct the missing items in the respective places

  2. Hi Suguna

    Would like to try this fish curry. Not able to get this fish in my locality. Can I use any fresh water fish like rohu for this recipe?

  3. BHARATHKUMAR A V

    விரால் மீன் குழம்பு என சொல்லிட்டு ஆங்கிலத்தில் பதிவு செய்கிறது ஏமாற்றம் அளிக்கிறது…

  4. hi Kannamma. 🙂 been trying out your recipes in a series now and been loving it. tried this yesterday and really come out well. i modified it a little using big onions in the main curry (since i was out of small onions) and i felt it turned out to be a bit sweet. but otherwise very flavorsome
    thanks for this recipe.

  5. Another wonderful recipe from you Suguna. Thanks.
    Could you please specify what is curry powder? Garam masala perhaps?

    1. Curry powder is not garam masala. It is a mixture of red chilli powder, turmeric, coriander and other spices. You will be able to find it in South Indian stores.

  6. Hi Suguna,
    Sounds and looks dee-lish!
    Why don’t you do this on ‘you tube;’?
    I’m sure this woould add many more to your fan base!
    Tony

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